Character Analysis Of Oedipa In "The Crying Of Lot 49"

1668 words - 7 pages

Character Analysis of OedipaOedipa as a character displays a multitude of traits. She has a deeply set disconnection with society offset by an overwhelming curiosity, a curiosity that leads her through an assortment of various social strata and locations. The development of the novel is driven by these two primary traits that she displays. Although there are many critics who question the relevance of Oedipa's name in the belief that it is Pynchon's way of reminding the reader that they are reading fiction, it is in fact a integral; part of the novella that reveals part of authors character design. Her naming conjures up images of a Greek hero or a Freudian interpretation, neither of which is correct, there is no great internal struggle, nor a great quest, just the execution of a will. The character of Oedipa is that of a woman in search of something just out of grasp, both internally and externally.Oepida is a rather generic looking person. A middle aged northern California, complacent in the rhythms of suburban life. She could been used as a model for Botticelli (14 Crowork). She is heavy set, with large breast and an aged but pretty face, not beautiful but pretty. She probably sunbathed topless in private areas. Her outward dress is very suburban with a California style too it, a bit more edgy but still very conservative. Her eyes are a light color maybe hazel or perhaps a faint blue or grey. Her hair is beginning to change color and grey with age. She is Caucasian with well tanned skin.Pynchon's Naming is really only significant in that it illustrates how unimportant his names really are. This is glaringly apparent in "The calling of lot 49". Note that the name Maas can also be pronounced "My ass" (Grant, 3). Also notable is that there is no great quest for Oedipa to complete in the oedipal sense. "Again "Maas" has been read as suggesting Newton'sSecond law of motion in which "mass" is the term denoting a quantity of inertia. So the name suggests at once activity and passivity."(178 Bloom). Her quest is to simply execute a will; the entire novel is her becoming distracted from this goal. Note that there is nothing truly Freudian about this goal, nor is there anything remotely epic about it. Only when she becomes distracted from this goal does she gain any real "epic" quest. Also notable is the fact that this is not a tangible goal oriented quest, in fact this is a journey that causes her to delay the completion of her real goals. Also note that the other characters in the novels name has little to do with their actual personality. Oedipa's virtue "she has a sureness of moral reaction, and can cut through falsehood: Oedipa's Glare" (125 John Dugdale).In fairness to those that cite the Freudian characteristics of Oedipa, there is some merit to their position. The image of Oedipa provides of herself as a woman in a tower is strikingly similar to the Freudian image of a castrating mother. However note that in the feminization of Oedipus she is...

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